• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Did Ramsay MacDonald betray his party in 1931?

Extracts from this document...


Did Ramsay MacDonald betray his party in 1931? There are many reasons why historians dispute whether or not Ramsay MacDonald betrayed the labour party is 1931. To discover my own theory and opinion on this issue, I have researched and analysed sources and considered why the labour party felt like this. When labour's cabinet could not agree on expenditure cuts on 24th August 1931, the labour party assumed that MacDonald would resign and Mr. Baldwin, leader of the conservatives, would be asked to from a government. In fact something quite different occurred. MacDonald informed his cabinet colleagues a day after of supposedly handing in his resignation to King George V, that the labour party would no longer govern but he himself would preside a National government. This would be a coalition of the leading political parties including the labour party's class enemy: the Conservatives. ...read more.


It was said that "...he'd been corrupted by 'aristocratic embrace'..." Other accusations which leads people to believe that he betrayed his party were that "...he was never a true socialist and that he wanted to join forces with the opposition party..". Some think that he deliberately put his cabinet colleagues into a position where a cabinet split was inevitable. MacDonald had seemed very enthusiastic about the formation of the national government. He seemed to share no grief or animosity in response to presiding the coalition according to Snowden. "The day after the National Government was formed he came into my room...in very high spirits..." Was his mood created by shear relief that their seemed a way out of this crisis? Or his own selfish ambition and narcissism that gave him this joy? ...read more.


There was a great amount of pressure on MacDonald to form a national government, not only by the press but by request of George V. He believed that it was MacDonald's patriotic duty to head it. MacDonald was vastly ignorant of Economic Policy because of his lack of understanding in this particular field. He much preferred to concentrate on foreign and imperial affairs. This does not show betrayal but a weakness in his leadership. By heading the National Government in fact he committed political suicide; as a result he was expelled from his party and appeared to be an unsuitable leader as he couldn't get the country out of a national crisis unless he formed a national government. In conclusion to my study, I do not believe that MacDonald betrayed his party or acted purely in self-interest. I believe he did what he thought was necessary to try and solve that economic policy even though he lacked an understanding in this province. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Politics essays

  1. Representation and Democracy in Britain 1830 – 1931

    Hardie's failed bid showed that Britain was not yet ready for an independent labour party - indeed as many as nine MPs served purporting to represent labour on the liberal benches already. These would vote independently on matters thought to relate to workers, but on all other issues would vote in the same fashion as their Liberal compatriots.

  2. Do you agree that labour was "betrayed" by Ramsay MacDonald in 1931?

    But the real problem came in October 1929, when the stock market crashed, known as the "Wall street crash". This stock market crash was "not merely another periodic recession but the Great Depression, whose catastrophic effects were felt world wide".

  1. How far do Sources A-G support the view that Ramsay MacDonald deserves to be ...

    The labour minister had already shot down other policy, which had been suggested by Macdonald, suggesting in fact that the Labour Mps were being unreasonable "The Cabinet had rejected a revenue tariff as a method of balancing the books; they had not even contemplated accepting devaluation as an alternative."

  2. Was the 2nd Labour Government betrayed by Ramsey McDonald in 1931?

    McDonald did not get permission from Labour to head or even join a coalition. Labour elected Henderson, former Foreign Secretary, as their new leader. The Conservatives agreed to the National government, and even agreed to McDonald being leader instead of one of their own, because if unpopular public expendure cuts

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work